A while back when I was trying to get myself ready to maybe possibly at some point in the future start writing (see the procrastination there? Eh? Did’ja?), I came across an interesting article about connecting back to handwriting. I had to stop and think on it a bit. There are some who say they feel they work better hand-writing a project first while others claim that typing everything out as fast as they can is what works for them.
I realize this is a matter of preference, but I honestly used my “I type better than I write,” stance as one of my many excuses not to write. “Oh, my computer’s down, so I can’t write,” “Oh, the Buttface is sleeping,” “Oh, a Facebook game distracted me for 4 hours.” It’s a pretty lame excuse when I have so many notebooks lying around waiting to be used. I started a personal journal in one. Of course, that one is for my eyes only, but it made me realize how much better I felt after going through the physical pen-to-paper-hand-cramps involved in handwriting.
Sure, the words are sloppy and I will probably have a harder time in the future re-reading them, but the more I did it, the more I was able to write. I felt like I had nothing to say until I started writing down my feelings: my anger, my fears, my happies, and my sads. Let me tell ya, trying to create something with bottled emotions is pretty damn difficult. I’m not keeping up with it every day yet. But I try to at least write something somewhere every day. Whether it’s on the blog, posting some other work, or my personal journal; something is going to be written.
Back to the handwriting–I also remember when I was writing stories for my Creative Writing class in college. I would start a story in a class where I was bored out of my mind. I would write in my notebook until I felt confident enough to know where it was going, then I would retype the whole thing. It never came out like it did when I wrote it on paper. It turned out better. Never perfect, mind you. The class and teacher always had plenty of critiques for me to work on. But sometimes you just have to write the crappy parts out. The stuff you need to get your engine going. Then you rewrite it and find better ways to say what you were going for in the first place. A lengthy description gets cut down to 5 words. Some scene that makes more sense in another place gets to where it belongs. That crap you have no idea where it came from doesn’t make the draft. Sometimes it takes some physical pen-to-paper to help flesh some of these pieces out. At least for me it does.
For a while, I fought against it; I do against most advice (word edits I can handle. Lifestyle edits are harder). One of those big steps that you know you should take, but it means changing how you behave and committing to something. It takes courage to do. Yes, I’m still talking about pen-to-paper. But I’m also talking about writing as a practice. Or creating. Or businessing. Or whatever it is that you really want to do but are too afraid to take the first step.
In the words of the ever-wise Ms. Frizzle, “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” It was something I’ve always had a hard time letting myself do. To make mistakes. It takes a lot of work for me to try something, fail at it, and try again. It takes a lot of practice and courage to do that. It’s just a matter of finding what’s worth messing up and trying again for.
Alright, I’ve been awake for 19 hours. That’s a reeeeeally long time for me. So goodnight! Find your happy! And zzzzzzzz
If you have a preference between hand-written, computer typed, typewriter-typed, dictated, etc. styles to get the stuff from your brain-space to the world, feel free to leave a comment!